A Touch of Dead: The Complete Stories (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series) [NOOK Book]

A Touch of Dead: The Complete Stories (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series)

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Visit our Sookie Stackhouse series feature page.

View our feature on Charlaine Harris’s A Touch of Dead.

Every Sookie Stackhouse short story ever written—in one special volume—from the New York Times
bestselling author.

New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris has re-imagined
the supernatural world with her “spunky” (Tampa Tribune) Southern Vampire novels starring telepathic
waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Now, for the first time, here is every Sookie Stackhouse short story ever written—
together in one volume.

Stories include “Fairy Dust,” “One Word Answer,” “Dracula Night,” “Lucky,” and

For years, Charlaine Harris has delighted fans with her mystery series featuring small-town waitress-turned-
paranormal-sleuth Sookie Stackhouse. Now, Ace is pleased to republish her second novel in the series in hardcover.
In this book, Sookie is pursued by a very sexy vampire—and a very deadly monster. With HBO and Alan Ball, creator
of Six Feet Under, launching an all-new series, True Blood, based on the Southern Vampire novels,
the demand for Charlaine Harris and Sookie Stackhouse is going to be bigger than ever.

Read More Show Less
  • Charlaine Harris
    Charlaine Harris  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Fans of Charlaine Harris novels and HBO's True Blood series will welcome this complete collection of Sookie Stackhouse short stories. A Touch of Dead contains every short story ever written about the telepathic waitress sleuth, including "Dracula Night," "Lucky," "Giftwrap," "Fairy Dust," "Tacky," "One Word Answer," and the title story. All the tales are arranged chronologically within Sookie's life.
Entertainment Weekly
Vivid, subtle, and funny in her portrayal of Southern life.
Los Angeles Times
A light, fun series.
Toronto Star
Blending action, romance and comedy, Harris has created a fully functioning world so very close to our own, except, of course, for the vamps and other supernatural creatures.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
It’s easy to understand why these oddly charming books have become so popular.
Denver Post
An engaging, smart, and sexy heroine.
LA) News-Star (Monroe, LA)
It’s a bit hard to imagine having vampires and werewolves lurking around every corner, but Harris has a way of making the reader buy it hook, line and sinker.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101145067
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Series: Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 54,655
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Charlaine Harris, who has been writing mysteries for over twenty years, is a native of Mississippi. Born and raised in the Delta, she began training for her career as soon as she could hold a pencil. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and (later) teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, and graduated to books a few years later.

After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris decided to establish a series. She began the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, which garnered an Agatha nomination.  Harris's protagonist, a diminutive Georgia librarian whose life never turns out quite the way she planned, kept Harris busy for several books, but finally Harris (and Aurora) grew restless.

The result of this restlessness was the much edgier Shakespeare series -- set not in England, but in rural Arkansas. The heroine of the Shakespeare books is Lily Bard, a tough and taciturn woman whose life has been permanently reshaped by a terrible crime and its consequences. In Shakespeare's Landlord, the first in the series, Lily is caught at a moment when the shell she's built around herself is just beginning to crack, and the books capture Lily's emotional re-entry into the world, while also being sound mysteries.

Harris's latest venture is a series about a telepathic barmaid in southern Louisiana. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony for best paperback mystery of 2001. Each book about Sookie Stackhouse (and her dealings with vampires and werewolves and other creatures of the night) has gathered more readers to enjoy the books' unique blend of mystery, humor, romance, and the supernatural. The Sookie books are also being read in Japan, Spain, Greece, and Great Britain.

In addition to her work as a writer, Harris is married and the mother to three children. A former weight lifter and karate student, she is an avid reader and cinemaphile. She is a member of the vestry of St. James Episcopal Church.

Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. © 2004 Charlaine Harris


A native of the Mississippi Delta, Charlaine Harris grew up in a family of avid readers (her father was a teacher; her mother a librarian). She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, graduating in 1973 with a degree in English and Communication Arts. Although she penned poetry and plays in school, her first serious foray into fiction was with two standalone novels, Sweet and Deadly and A Secret Rage, published (effortlessly!) in the early 1980s.

After her early success, Harris released the first installment in a series of lighthearted mysteries starring spunky, small-town Georgia librarian, true crime enthusiast, and amateur sleuth Aurora Teagarden. When Aurora debuted in Real Murders (1990), Publishers Weekly welcomed "a heroine as capable and potentially complex as P. D. James's Cordelia Gray." The book went on to receive an Agatha Award nomination.

Anxious for another challenge, Harris began a second series in 1996. Darker and edgier than the Teagarden novels, these mysteries featured taciturn, 30-something housecleaner Lily Bard, a woman with a complicated past who has moved to the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, to find peace and solitude. The first novel, Shakespeare's Landlord, was well-received. BookList raved: "Harris has created an intriguing new character in this solidly plotted story." [Much to the disappointment of her fans, Harris concluded the Lilly Bard sequence in 2001 with Shakespeare's Counselor.]

Although Harris achieved moderate success with these two series (which she laughingly describes as "cozies with teeth"), she would hit the jackpot in 2001 with Dead Until Dark, a sly, spoofy paranormal mystery starring a telepathic Louisiana cocktail waitress named Sookie Stackhouse, who falls in love with a vampire named Bill. The novel, a delightful hybrid of mystery, science fiction, and romance, was an instant hit with critics. ("Harris' Sookie has the potential to attract more readers than Hamilton's Anita Blake," raved the dark fantasy magazine Cemetery Dance.) Readers, too, adored the Southern Vampire Series and have rewarded the author with bestseller after bestseller. (In 2008, the Sookie saga came to HBO in a top-rated television adaptation, True Blood, starring Anna Paquin.)

With 2006's Grave Sight, Harris added yet another fascinating character to her stable -- a young woman named Harper Connelly whose youthful encounter with a lightning bolt has left her with the ability to find corpses and determine how they died. In addition to juggling characters and plots for her popular series, Harris has also contributed short stories and novellas to several anthologies of paranormal fantasy fiction.

Good To Know

In our interview, Harris confesses:

"I'm really a boring person. My family (my husband and three children) is the most important thing in my life. I go to bed early, I get up early. I love to go to the movies with my husband. My favorite things about finally making some money as a writer are (a) I can buy as many books as I want, and (b) I can hire a maid. The first job I had was working in an offset darkroom at a very small newspaper. I stood on a concrete floor all day and made minimum wage -- which then was $1.60 an hour. I hated it, and I learned a lot, though not necessarily about working in a darkroom. So being a writer is much better."

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    1. Hometown:
      Southern Arkansas
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 25, 1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tunica, Mississippi
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and Communication Arts, Rhodes, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt


The first time I was asked to write a short story about my heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, I wasn't sure I could do it. Sookie's life and history are so complex that I didn't know if I could create a coherent piece of short fiction that would do her justice.

I'm still not sure, but I've enjoyed trying. Some efforts have been more successful than others. It's been hard to fit the stories into Sookie's larger history without leaving seams. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes not. In this edition, I've tried to smooth out the edges of the story that was the most fun to write, but wouldn't fit in its chronological hole no matter how I pounded ("Dracula Night").

In the order in which they occur in Sookie's life, the stories are:

"Fairy Dust" originally appeared in Powers of Detection. "Fairy Dust" is about the fairy triplets Claude, Claudine, and Claudette. Following the murder of Claudette, the Claude and Claudine seek Sookie's help in determining the guilty party. Claude acquires a valuable asset in this story. The action in "Fairy Dust" takes place after the events in Dead to the World.

In "Dracula Night," Eric invites Sookie to Fangtasia for the celebration of Dracula's birthday, an annual event that makes Eric almost over the top with anticipation, since Dracula is his hero. Unfortunately, the "Dracula" who unveils himself may or may not be the real thing. Eric celebrates "Dracula Night" before the action of Dead as a Doornail.

After Dead as a Doornail, the news of her Cousin Hadley's death reaches Sookie in "One Word Answer." She's informed of Hadley's demise by the half-demon lawyer Mr. Cataliades, who has a loathsome driver and an unexpected passenger in his limo.

"Lucky" is light-hearted story set in Bon Temps in the time period after All Together Dead. Witch Amelia Broadway and Sookie are on the hunt to find out who's sabotaging the town's insurance agents.

On Christmas Eve, Sookie receives a very unexpected visitor in "Gift Wrap." She's been alone and feeling a little sorry for herself, when a wounded werewolf supplies her with a satisfying gift. I'm pleased she has such an interesting holiday before the grim events of Dead And Gone.

I had a good time writing all these stories. Some are totally light-hearted, and some are more serious, but they all shine a light on a little facet of Sookie's life and times that I haven't recorded in the books. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Let the good times roll,

Charlaine Harris

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 905 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 912 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    Not what I expected...

    Now I know this isn't supposed to be the next installment in the series, but it was seriously a disappointment. The stories are short, there is no climax, and the "issues" are resolved in a matter of lines. If you are a die hard Sookie series fan, you won't love this. It's a really quick read, so if you are looking for something to quench your Sookie thirst until May 2010 when the 10th installment comes out then you should pick this up.

    28 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a terrific introduction to the few people in the country who have not visited the urban fantasy world of Sookie Stackhouse

    "Fairy Dust". Claudine asks Sookie for a favor to read some people who have agreed to do so; of course this simple request turns deadly.

    "Dracula Night". Vampires celebrate the Count on his birthday with Eric organizing quite a bash on "Dracula Night", but Sookie as a guest never expected to attend a biting gala.

    "One Word Answer". Sookie learns that her cousin Hadley died so she must attend the funeral not expecting to meet the vampire Queen of New Orleans.

    "Luck". Insurance agent Greg Aubert hires roommates Sookie and Amelia the witch to determine who is breaking into his files as "Luck" is running out on residents of Bon Temps.

    "Gift Wrap". Sookie is lonely for Christmas as she has no family to share the holidays with; depressed, she finds a wounded were outside whom she takes into her home.

    This is a terrific introduction to the few people in the country who have not visited the urban fantasy world of Sookie Stackhouse. The five entries are reprints from other collections, but not placed in one anthology before. Each tale is fun to read as even when the heroine tries to mind her business, she ends up in the middle of a paranormal fiasco.

    Harriet Klausner

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Collection of Short Stories

    It is just a collection of the short stories that have already been published in other books. The stories are cute and one is little disturbing about her grandfather and Christmas. But it is realy not worth purchasing, get it from the library or a friend. It is only 192 pages, one sitting and it is done.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    For diehard Sookie fans

    Some of you may have seen my posts about Sookie Stackhouse and the Southern Vampire Novels. This is an addition to the collection. Be aware before you get too excited: this is a collection of short stories already published in various anthologies! Nevertheless, I am a diehard fan of the series (aka I cannot WAIT for more!) and loved getting to stave off my craving for a little longer. The wait between books can sometimes feel like forever so a little extra Sookie was nice. That being said, if you're NOT a diehard fan just looking for every last little bit of Sookie you can get, this will probably not be satisfying for you. The stories are pretty short (even as short stories go) and don't really have much to them. They feel more like deleted scenes from previous books (which I happen to like to watch in movies so that works for me). It fills in some interesting tidbits. You get to see when Sookie first hears about (and then meets) Claude. You also get to see her first encounter with Mr. Cataliades and her first run-in with the Queen of Louisiana. There's also a little bit of Bubba (and who doesn't love that?) and some insight into Eric's personality. There's also a part where you realize that Niall actually is a pretty cool guy to have as a great-grandfather (if a bit unconventional in the way he handles Christmas gifts...).

    All in all I liked it a whole lot but will tailor my recommendation just for people who feel the same way I do about picking up every little bit possible. Enjoy these deleted scenes and I'll be back in May when the next book comes out!

    PS - The short story collections are Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, Many Bloody Returns, Bite, Unusual Suspects, and Powers of Detection.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing based on price

    I am a huge Sookie fan so I paid the very high price for this ebook. I was very disappointed. It was on 94 pages long with 5 short stories. They were cute, but very little development. Worth it for maybe 5.99 or less, not 18.99.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A touch of good...

    I really liked this offering from Charlene Harris. Having been a True Blood fan, I, of course, want to read more about Sookie and the gang. This is short and sweet and really is very fun to read. It keeps you turning the pages, that's for sure!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Best Series Ever!!

    I have been waiting for this book to come out for forever! I finished reading all 9 books in the Sookie Stackhouse series and didn't know what to do with myself lol. I then found out this book was soon to be released and i've been counting down the days until i can read it! If you have not read this series you'll love it! This book is not a continuance of the story but deals with the characters in short stories!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    What a let down

    At first, I was sooo excited to find this book. As soon as I opened the box from UPS, I saw how short the book was. I read it in one sitting... what a disappointment. The stories didn't really give me any additional, interesting info on her wonderful characters. I read all nine of the Sookie Stackhouse books in 2 weeks! I coulnd't put them down! I wish I wouldn't have wasted my money on this one.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    My Least Favorite Sookie

    I love Sookie, and have followed her before she became HBO. However, these short stories are just not enough. It's hard to place them in time and I just couldn't get into some of them. I found the stories lackluster. No one will be missing out on much by skipping this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2009

    the short stories were uneven in quality. not her best work

    the short stories were uneven in quality and not her best work. two of the tales were very disappointing. the rest of the stories were uninspired. too bad.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    Very Very Disappointed/Stories from the Book series already written..

    Huge disappointment........... Was wanting for the next book in the series and what I received was a recap of the books that I have read.......
    Please do not buy if you already read the series up to date..... Very Sad... The Author and Publisher are taking the dedicated readers....

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Quick Look at Soakie Stackhouse

    This a great book for fans of Charlotte Harris. It is like a teaser with little stories involving Soakie with many of the regular characters of the series. Although I have read all the series, I found it entertaining and fun. The Soakie Stackhouse series is available in an 8 bookset, plus two more books have followed. If you like the romance of the south, some fang carying vampires, a bit of sex, a little humor and a young woman with a lot of gumption you will enjoy the books. They are an entertaining read and reread.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read!

    I adore Sookie Stackhouse! This book was great and left me totally yearning for the next one! We really got to see Eric and Sookie's relationship get taken to the next level, I love him and they just seem so great together. Cannot wait to see what happens in the continuum of the fairy war!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    This book was wonderful to read because it helped to explain in more detail some interesting parts from the whole series. Each story was just as interesting and will hold you interest just like the books do.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great series

    Great writing, story line, characters and one of the best series out there. A must read. Sookie makes friends with vampires, werewolves, faery... and just about everybody. Sookies is a very stong-willed woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    "A Touch of the Dead" Is just what it claimes!

    When I found out that Ms. Harris was putting out a new book clearing up some loose ends from the Stackhouse series; I was over-joyed. That enjoyment was short lived! When I went to pick up my reserved book at B&N, I looked at it with disbelief. It was very small, and after reading it though in less than an hour, I could't believe that Ms. Harris felt that this book was necessary. I am a recent devotee to the Stackhouse series, having consumed the seires in 10 days, then just to make sure that I didn't miss anything I reread them again. I thoroughly enjoyed each book. That was not the case with this book.

    If I had to label this book anything it would be "REVENUE", does Ms. Harris have a bill due?

    The thought previous displayed in Ms. Harris's work was not shown here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    love it!

    omg...this series gets better and better. i loved these short stories and i always ended up sad becuz they didn't continue into one of the long books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2009


    Well after reading TWILIGHT I fell in love with this series.. I could not wait till the next book came out in the series but BOY WAS I VERY VERY VERY DISAPPOINTED.... All it did was go over what we all have ready READ in short story form.. So I took it back to the book store and got my money back..Unless you want to reread everything you have already I would not buy this book.. Its nothing new.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    major disappointment

    HUGE Sooke fan. Couldn't wait for the short stories to come out even though I had read 2/5 before in other books. But was very disappointed in the out come. While it did work in some finer details that I had questions about it lacked what Harris is known for: Sookie's quick whit, romance and vampires. Most of the book was about Sookie using her "skills" to solve the who did it's. Still can't wait for next installment in series but felt like I wasted my money on this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    this is not the 10th book

    There are currently 9 books in the Sookie/Southern Vampire series. Book 10 is due out in May 2010 (year after the last one)
    This is supposed to be a collection of Sookie shorts. There are short stories that were published (mostly?) as part of Anthologies or collections of stories by various authors. For instance, Many Bloody Returns is a collection of short stories by several authors, the stories have a theme and are all vampire stories. Now pull out the Sookie stoy from that book and all the other Sookieverse shorts in other publications, ad compile them in one place and you have A Touch of Dead. This is MY understanding. I love the books! Charlain Harris has a website, Google her! I have not gotten to actually read this publication, though I have read some of the shorts. This book is due out 10/6/09. I just pre ordered it. I hope it atrives fast!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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